The Daily Telegraph’s latest scare portrays Putin as an unpredictable, nuclear-armed warmonger that only the ‘’good guys’’ from NATO can outwit in the game of ‘’atomic chess’
Accusing Russia of warmongering, while portraying Putin as someone worse than Hitler, or surrounding Russia with dodgy ABM shields and tanks, is nothing new.
Indeed, bashing Russia for having re-incorporated Crimea into itself after a popular vote, while being busily engaged in funding, aiding and abetting a mob-led putsch against an elected government, is the sort of thing the ‘West’ does too. However, it would be difficult to sink any lower than a article, which takes the demonisation of Putin and Russia to a whole new level.
We are told that Putin has become so "unpredictable"’ that not even the 'geniuses' from NATO could understand his "increasingly aggressive rhetoric". By "aggressive rhetoric" refers to statements made by Putin and some Russian ambassadors, whose aim was to remind NATO that Russia was no Iraq, Lybia, Serbia or Afghanistan, but a nuclear-armed Great Power, prepared to defend her borders and interests.
Such statements do not constitute warmongering, for they are mere statements of fact. And the fact is that Russia does indeed have a nuclear stockpile and that, just like any other country worthy of the name, would be prepared to use it if attacked. There was no direct or even a veiled threat.
It would, however, have been problematic if Putin had indeed made those statements completely out of the blue, as the article implies. The fact of the matter is that what totally exonerates Putin from "saber rattling", is indirectly expressed in my favourite, and most absurd part of the article:
"The loss of the vocabulary of nuclear dialogue risks innocent actions by Nato being misinterpreted by a paranoid Kremlin, it is feared."
As always, context is everything. The Kremlin’s alleged paranoia, which has led to it reminding its 'Western partners' that it too is in possession of a formidable army and a nuclear arsenal, might just have something to do with the West’s violent, ideological coup in Ukraine, NATO’s provocative military exercises in Eastern Europe, its new 40,000- strong rapid response force aimed at Russia, the massive propaganda and demonisation campaign against Russia, and other 'non-provocative' and 'innocent' things of that sort.
It is also worth remembering the West’s disastrous military interventions all over the Middle East, and the real danger of treating Russia as a country that is inferior to the West in terms of its ability to wage war.
Furthermore, as Dr.Paul Craig Roberts , there are some neo-conservatives in Washington who do advocate the so-called ‘’first strike’’ doctrine, which stands for the idea that the US could get away with initiating a nuclear strike on another country, whilst protected by its ABM shields and will , therefore , remain undamaged. This could, of course, be seen as just another paranoid theory, but given the recent claims of a that it was a good time to ‘nuke Russia ‘, it should not be that surprising some of us are slightly concerned.
Given all this, Putin’s patience has been so great, and his behaviour so astonishingly cautious, that it was only recently that he made the remarks, despite the fact NATO has been behaving veritably provocatively towards Russia for years.
Unlike the Telegraph’s deeply infantile treatment of the subject of nuclear war ("atomic chess"), Putin’s warnings are utterly serious, and shall, hopefully help awaken Europeans and Americans from their semi-blissful delirium, so that they realise their ‘leaders’ are about to take them to another "war to end all wars", with an even more apocalyptic end. Putin is trying to prevent such a war, not to start it.
To warn is not necessarily to threaten. In fact, warning is about avoiding and preventing something, as opposed to carrying it out. It would be good if Western journalists learn this distinction before accusing anyone of "sabre rattling", especially when writing for a publication famous for relentlessly beating the war drums.